Donald Trump said on Sunday he will deal with the fallout from the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, if the violence continues.
“I think we’ll deal with it,” Trump said at a news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“We’ve been through some tough times.
We have a lot of pain.””
I have no regrets, no regrets.
And we’ll see what happens,” he said, adding that he did not know what would happen to those who attended the rally.
The US president’s comments came after a week in which he has struggled to distance himself from his controversial comments in which a white supremacist rally of about 500 people turned deadly.
“You know, the last thing I wanted to do was say anything that would make it worse,” he told reporters.
“It was a terrible event.
It was a horrible day.”
He also said he was not sure what role the president’s former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, should have in the investigation of the event, adding: “You have to ask him that.”
Trump said he did have to answer for the actions of those in his administration who were responsible for the Charlottesville riots.
“I’m responsible for it,” he added.
“And I’ll tell you right now, the only people who’re responsible are the people in the White House.”
Trump’s comments come as more than a dozen people have been killed and dozens injured in clashes between neo-Nazis and counter-protesters on Saturday, as tensions over race, identity and intolerance reached new heights.
The death toll is expected to rise as authorities investigate whether neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups carried out the violent attacks.
Trump’s remarks are likely to be seen as an attempt to deflect criticism that his administration was too quick to condemn the violence.
“What we’re seeing in Charlottesville is exactly what the President is talking about,” a White House official told reporters on Sunday.
“There are a lot more people in that room than there are people in Charlottesville.”
The White House has repeatedly denied any link between the protests and Trump, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
A former US president said that in the wake of the Charlottesville riot, Trump told the nation that the nation had to “take care of its vets”, but then “did not mention black vets” and that “all I can say is that there are white vets in that crowd.”
“It was horrible.
There were a lot, a lot people in there,” he wrote on Twitter.”
You could feel it.
It wasn’t fun.”
The US President on Saturday addressed a White Nationalist rally in Virginia on the steps of the State Capitol.
Trump was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and US Senator Tim Scott.
The two men appeared to shake hands as the President addressed the crowd.